Monday, December 23, 2013
Hoy es el del aniversario en que nos dejo ese ángel, seis anos sin Ella y todavía puedo escuchar su voz, gritándole a mi mama que no me pusiera a alzar en mis vacaciones y que si a ella le toca morirse se iba morir feliz sabiendo que sus hijos ya todos tenían su vida hechas. Fue un día muy triste cuando no la robaron. La Navidad ha sido muy triste sabiendo que ya no esta y que se nos fue en fechas que se suponen son felices y de pura fiesta. Lo que me da mas tristeza todavía es que mi hijo nunca va a poder conocer a esa mujer increíble. El día que supimos sobre su diagnosis de Síndrome de Down, podía ver en los ojos de mi mama cuantas ganas tenia de llamarle y decirle y oír que le dijera mi abuelita que todo iba estar bien y nada iba a cambiar. He tratado de ser fuerte para mi mama pero a mi también me ha dolido mucho su ausencia. Quisiera que mi abuelita pudiera estar aquí para que le toque las mañanitas a mi hijo en su día como no lo hacia a todos. Quisiera que ella lo viera y que nos dijera que va hacer un gran hombre y no tenemos nada de que preocuparnos. También nos diría como le encanta oírlo reírse. Ojala y mi hijo sienta tanto amor de sus abuelitas como yo sentí. Tal vez no las tuve mucho tiempo, ni las veía todos los días, pero siempre recordare de su amor.
Mi abuelita tenia tanta sabiduría y quisiera tenerla aquí para preguntarle sobre ciertas cosas de Gio. Que pensaría ella de el y su diagnosis? Que me hubiera sugerido sobre sus atrasos? Cuando no estaba subiendo de peso, que nos hubiera dicho? Cuando no quería caminar me hubiera dicho que era normal? Ahorita que todavía no habla, que me diría? Hay veces que me dan celos porque la abuelita del papa de mi hijo si conoció a mi hijo y lo quiere tanto. Me da mucha felicidad ver sus abuelos con mi hijo, aunque mi hijo se enfada a veces con ellos, por corajudo y chiple. Ellos se preocupan porque no come bien y porque duro mucho sin crecer, y constantemente pienso en lo que diría mi abuelita. Lo que es seguro es que me lo esta cuidando desde el cielo igual que a todos sus seres queridos. Le pido a Dios que me ayude a ser un décimo de la mujer y madre que era ella. Seis años sin ver su sonrisa ha sido difícil, pero algún día nos veremos de nuevo. Ojala y visite a mi hijo en sus sueños como lo a hecho con mi hermana. Tal vez nunca probaran su comida ni sentirán sus abrazos pero si sentirán su amor y la conocerán por medio de nosotros que nos toco conocer a esa gran mujer.
Descanse en paz Petra Gutiérrez de González
06/29/1944 - 12/23/07
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I helped a lot with my sister when she was born and as she grew. I took for granted how quickly she picked up on things and how she would remember everything, as long as she was shown once. I mentally compare her and Gio all the time. How old she was when she started walking, how much she talked when she was three, how independent she was when she was four. My sister was three while I was pregnant and she asked millions of questions. Her curiosity was annoying, but now I get jealous. I'm so mad that I didn't enjoy and take the time to answer her questions and listen to what she had to say and just admire her knowledge at such a young age. While I was pregnant, she asked me "how did a baby get inside your tummy?" I laughed and told her I ate it. She told a friend's little cousin that the baby was a little seed that was running, running and that I wanted a baby so I caught it and ate it. They were both so shocked that I ate babies. It was hilarious. Her imagination at that age was icnredible and still is to this day. She is extremely smart and creative. This is what I expected my son to be at the age of three.
When I express myself to people, most of the time the responses are "but he IS smart, he learns so quickly," "he will talk don't worry," "he knows how to talk he's just lazy," "he's just babied too much," "a lot of three year olds don't talk." All of these I know come with good intentions, but sometimes I just wish someone would tell me that it's ok that he doesn't talk, but for them to acknowledge he has Down Syndrome. I wish instead of making excuses someone would help me find a way to help him. I do get lazy A LOT, but because I'm in so much denial still. I keep thinking it'll go away and tomorrow he will be asking me why his dad always falls asleep on the couch, or why Mater is so good at wrestling, or how far away the moon is because Mater got there really fast, or why Jack can't be Santa Claus why does he have to be the Pumpkin King. I want him to tell me to tell Santa Claus that he wants a Chuck dumptruck for Christmas. I want him to ask me to make him chicken with rice for dinner or to change the T.V. to the bubble guppies. He IS smart and he IS amazing. I wish I knew what he was thinking. Sometimes I catch him staring blankly as though he was lost in some very interesting thought. He laughs at random things in certain movies he's seen over and over and I want to ask him what he found so funny this time that he didn't see last time. I am so excited for the day he will communicate freely with me. I daydream about conversations we will have in the future and how he will respond and things we will laugh at together. The places he'll ask me to take him to. Until then, I'll pretend we have these conversations and continue to push him to communicate with him even when he's frustrated and annoyed that we pressure him.
It blows my mind how much we take advatange of on a day to day basis. You expect for your kids to be "normal" that when life throws you those curveballs it's a pain that won't go away. It isn't even self-pity, as most people would assume. It's a pain of knowing you're child won't experience things a certain way and since we live life that particular way. Everyone keeps asking what I want for Christmas and what I'm going to give Gio for Christmas. Of course I'm going to get him actual presents that he can open, but the one thing I'm going to give him is my patience and love and my presence. I won't ever let him feel alone even if it means I stand next to him for 24 hours straight so he allows me to get a break. I think the reason I can't decide what I want is because I don't need anything. I'm truly blessed, all I want for Christmas is his happiness. As cheesy as it sounds it's real, I want a whole lifetime with him. Forever; and if he never learns to really talk I will sign with him til my hands fall off. Whatever it takes.
Merry Christmas to everyone! (:
Thursday, October 10, 2013
I do want to talk about it so that maybe it sparks something in someone else, just like with breast cancer. A lot of football players in the NFL wear pink to represent someone they love who has or has had to deal with breast cancer, but why doesn't anyone wear blue or yellow? It's hard for me to believe that NO ONE in the NFL has had to deal with someone they love having a disability and from some research I've done Down Syndrome is pretty common. Maybe one day people will have spoken up enough to have something represented for those who don't know others see them as "different."
For the past few months my biggest stress has been trying to decide whether or not to put Gio in school. I didn't think he was ready for a "real" preschool classroom with 20 or so kids and 1 or 2 teachers. He wasn't at the level, I felt. So his coordinator at Child Find did an evaluation so my son actually is eligible for special education classes. It sort of breaks my heart for my son only because I know how mean people can be about special education. Anyways, I went and visited the school and it was perfect! There's 6 or 7 kids with 4 teachers. The kids are all pretty much at Gio's level and they get speech therapy and occupational therapy twice a week and a social worker visits once a week to make sure everything is going good. They also get 15 minutes of integrated learning meaning he will get to be in the "regular" preschool classroom to see how he does there. It is a 3 hours a day/5 days a week program. My only concern is that I wouldn't have anyone to take him or pick him up, so they offered for the bus to do that for me. Someone will be there to buckle him up and help him down when he gets to school. This is what I am looking forward to for next fall and I'm VERY excited for Gio to go to school. I know it will be very good for him. The teachers and other staff seem very loving and concerned about the kids which made me love that school so much more. It made me feel better that my son will get the individual attention he needs.
I now have a new worry, though. I recently read a story about an 11 year old boy in Florida who has Down Syndrome and had a bad incident at his school. He is adopted by his grandparents after his parents couldn't care for him. He goes to a school specifically for children with disabilities, so his grandparents thought they had made the right decision since the staff their should have been trained to deal with these childrens' different needs. It seems as though the little boy throws himself on the ground when he is upset or frustrated and a few weeks ago the principal was called to his classroom to help him. The principal couldn't get him to get up, so she dragged him, yes DRAGGED HIM. Police reports show that the boy was dragged a little under 30 feet and unfortunately some of that was concrete and over two door thresholds.
When his grandpa picked him up he was in total shock (I personally would have gone off on everyone right then and there!) He saw the bruises and scratches on his grandson's arms and found that his rib cage was severely bruised. He reported the principal to the police despite the emails and cards the principal has sent apologizing to the family. She claims that the child didn't seem distressed at the moment and the injuries were unfortunate (NO SHIT). Reading this article really infuriates me because this principal is suppose to be the leader and example of the other staff as to how to care for the children in her school. It worries me that people are so ignorant at times. Would she have dragged a "normal" kid at a "normal" school? The grandparents have moved the boy to another school.
It's sad that educators and even authorities have no knowledge on how to act in certain situations, just like with Robert Ethan Saylor. He passed away because of the lack of training most police officers have in situations where they have to handle a person with a disability. It is so unfortunate how people feel like if they don't know someone with a disability they don't need to know even the basics about it. This worries me with my son because I was so excited to put him in school, but there will always be risks and the majority are risks we have to take. The best that I can do as a parent is educate those around my son and make sure that I'm always around to see what's going on. I can only ask that anyone who knows about these things help educate others as well, awareness is the key.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I will be inputting stories from other people once in a while and getting their view on different situations or on certain milestones my son has met. This won't be the only time I do this. I think it is necessary to bring in other opinions and share how the people who love my son feel, as long as they are willing to share. I am VERY fortunate that I have a ton of support and my son has love all around him.
Unique, different, and amazing are three words I've always used to describe my daughter. From the minute she was born, she was amazing in many ways. She was born at 33 weeks and the doctors were well prepared for the worst; instead, she was fine, breathing on her own and all, ready to be discharged the next day, but we had to stay because I had one of the worst cases of toxemia that they had seen in 10 years, or so they said.
From that day forward, she became a fighter; helped me become the person I am today. She has the gift to lead by example and transfers her strength to others in a very unique way, one that cannot be explained. She has always been an amazing daughter, sister, and friend.
When Gio was born, she showed me how strong and stubborn she is, she held him close and tight to her heart, the feeling of seeing that little boy is unexplainable. After the doctors checked him and confirmed his health, I felt such relief mainly because I've always wanted a struggle free life for her; the thought of something being "wrong" with him never left my heart. I don't know if it's a grandma sense or what. I could see how happy she was with her little boy and as the days went by, that feeling became stronger and stronger; I wanted to forget about it and get it out of my heart, but I couldn't. I'd give her gentle hints (or I thought I did) about asking the doctor why this or that. It was primarily his growth or lack of that concerned me the most, only because I've spent my whole life working with kids and I know how important that is for their development.
It was the summer after he turned a year old I decided to go with her and push doctors to find what was wrong with Gio - I'm not sure I'm happy with that decision now because what you don't know doesn't hurt you! We went to weekly weighing appointments and I tracked his weight very closely. After the third week, I was extremely frustrated and expressed that frustration loudly because that was not giving us answers. I remember Karla saying that I was rude and almost embarrassed her when the doctor walked out of the room, but then thanked me at the end of the appointment because we got a referral to the endocrinologist. I felt we were one step closer to figuring out this mystery.
We attended this appointment together a few weeks later. All his thyroid test results were within the normal range. The only other suggestion was to run a genetics test. When I heard those words, I left the room. I fell apart, I went for a walk and cried for a while. I knew Karla needed me by her side, but I fell apart and have always known that I need to be strong for her. From that day until the test, I prayed to God for strength to accept whatever He had prepared for us. The day of the test came and I took Gio to such appointment. The doctor told me Gio looked different from the previous time he had seen him, but he wanted to run the test just to be certain. I asked him if he was thinking Gio was Down Syndrome and his response was "Oh no! Not Down syndrome!" I felt relieved and left that Appointment with such joy; however, that feeling that something wasn't right didn't leave my heart.
Three weeks later I get a voice message from Karla saying the doctor called and confirmed the Down Syndrome diagnosis! Being in the middle of teaching, I asked the kids to read silently while I called her back, I couldn't wait any longer! Yes, my deep feeling was confirmed. I felt my world was falling apart, not because Gio has Down syndrome, but because working with kids with disabilities for over 15 years taught me how challenging life can be for both parents and the child. I asked my principal if I could leave for a few minutes to go hug my baby. She needed her mommy, but I think that hug was more for me that it was for her. I wanted to go home immediately and hug him tight! I had parent teacher conferences that day and didn't get home until 8, Karla told me she was proceeding with her normal routine and I decided to simply wait, his diagnosis was not going to change what I did for him or how I felt about him, it was simply going to help me do things a little different now.
Gio is very special, not because he has Down syndrome, but because he carries a special charisma in him. There have been many times when they come over and the tension in my house is very obvious between my son (his uncle and godfather) and I, but Gio has the gift to break such tension and change his mood almost miraculously! Gio has a touch that alleviates any stress or pain; his smile first thing in the morning is the best way to start the day, his kisses are so intense I can feel them even days after he's given them to me. He is extremely smart and senses dislike and love from those around him and figures out a way to make sure he is likable by every one.
My baby is very special, not because he Has Down syndrome, but because he is my grandson, because he gives my daughter strength to fight for a better day tomorrow. Gio is my life! I'm learning with him, he's teaching me how to make his life a better one for those around him; Gio is..... I can't find the words to explain what or how I feel for him! He is part of who I am and I'd like to remind every one that Gio is first, then his disability! Gio is not Down syndrome, he HAS Down syndrome and that does not change who he is. Gio should and will always be FIRST!
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Gio's situation is a little more complicated than that even. He has Mosaicism. We don't even know where he has the extra chromosome, that alone would take months to find out because they would have to test each and every part of him. Which could mean endless blood tests, too many needles and pokes to even consider it being worth it. He only has 22% so to me it's better for him to avoid this "cure." The research has only proven to help IQ and certain health problems. It might help prevent early Leukemia and early Alzheimer's. It might help with the thyroid problems and heart problems and hearing and vision problems. The heart defects are more likely not as easily repaired with a silenced chromosome, as well as the physical characteristics. My son so far hasn't had anything major. The removal of his tonsils and adenoids has helped his weight gain in such an amazing way. Hes getting a little to heavy to carry only because I'm use to him being small. This cure wouldn't help Gio talk any sooner it doesn't improve these delays. It wouldn't help the discreet physical characteristics disappear. His muscle tone wouldn't magically improve over night and the bones on his feet wont miraculously go into place. He learns everything so quickly and is great at imitating. Yes, he might not be where a "normal" 2 almost 3 year old is at, but he is not dumb. I don't see him having a problem where his IQ is concerned. It really irritates me that people assume just because he has DS he is dumb and they assume that because he is so smart he can't possibly have DS. The DS doesn't define a child or even say anything about who they will become. The parents and people around them define that and decide whether it's about the child or the DS. My son is an amazing person so sweet and funny, I'm sure with or without Mosaicism he would be exactly who he is. It is merely a medical term. The research found is great in the sense that there will be a lower percentage rate of women who choose abortion after learning their child may have a disability. It eventually may help someone who is having a lot of health problems as in heart surgeries and blood transfusions from the early Leukemia. This may lead to something great, but for now I will cherish my son for exactly who he is, and if I were to have another child and they have full DS I will love them just as much, not because of the DS or whatever disability they may have, but because they are apart of ME.
Fun Fact I learned!
You guys can google this if you'd like, or don't believe me. While reading about all this "cure" research I found out that the extra 21 chromosome has actually been proven, in some studies, to protect the body from many cancers. A person with the extra chromosome has less than a ten percent chance (approximately) in getting cancer! It is rare for a person with Down Syndrome to get cancer. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it has been studied that the extra chromosome acts as a protectant and it has something to do with the metabolism it creates or something like that, I'm not a doctor I couldn't understand all the terms, but I want to look into it and I will update this (:
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
Friday, July 12, 2013
But my feelings the same
I laugh and I cry
And I take pride in my gains
I was sent here among you
To teach you to love
As God in the heavens
Looks down from above
To Him I'm no different
His love knows no bounds
It's those here among you
In cities and towns
That judge me by standards
That man has imparted
But this family I've chosen
Will help me get started
For I'm one of the children
So special and few
That came here to learn
The same lessons as you
That love is acceptance
It must come from the heart
We all have the same purpose
Though not the same start
The Lord gave me life
To live and embrace
And I'll do it as you do
But at my own pace
-author unknown (if anyone knows the author let me know!)
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
The first time he met my son it was at a work dinner for a couple employees that were going away. I still hadn't known about my son's condition, but it was obvious my son was delayed. He didn't talk (still doesn't) and he scribbled and threw things like a baby. He was already two and my coworker who has nieces and nephews of around the same age asked why he didn't talk, why he made his lips the way he did, why he didn't really pay attention. I had been use to these kinds of questions because they were questions I asked myself, but I brushed it off and I told him staight up that my son was slower and it happens. Obviously my tone was a little more on the rude side, but I didn't have answers and that frustrated me more than the questions.
When I got my diagnosis, I was at work and only my boss knew about it, but he hinted to the other members of our team that I was having medical issues with my son and to give me some space. Of course eventually they asked if he was ok and if there was anything they could do. I think they imagined much worse, but I finally just told them my son had Down Syndrome, I felt it easier than explaining the percentage and wanted to avoid the how and why questions. For the most part they have been very considerate and whenever my son comes around they play with him and give him suckers. My coworker who is a teller with me is the one who is more outgoing, I guess you can say, with the comments he makes and questions he asks.
The most recent conversation we've had started when a customer of ours came in with his daughter. He was an older gentleman, probably in his late 40's or early 50's, and he told us his daughter was 6. My coworker laughed and joked on how she could be his granddaughter, something I'm sure he's heard a lot before because he just smirked and tried to hurry with the transaction. After the customer left, my coworker said, "I wonder why that little girl wasn't born with Down Syndrome, because that guy was pretty old so his wife must've been older too when they had her." I was kind of stunned by his comment. I asked him why he would wonder that and he said because he's heard that the risk of a child being born with Down Syndrome is higher for older women. I told him my mom had my sister in her late 30's and my sister was fine. He said either way he wouldn't want to take that risk. I asked what risk would he be taking. He said he wouldn't want his wife to get pregnant at an older age because he wouldn't be able to handle a child who would never be able to take care of themselves. He wouldn't want a child with Down Syndrome because it would be too much work and it's like having a child for the rest of your life, according to him. I told him it doesn't matter what age you are if you're meant to have a child with a disability it will happen. I told him I was 19 when I had my son and according to tests I had almost no chance of having a child with a disability, which I did. He started going on about how either way he wouldn't want that on his shoulders. I was just shocked at how dumb he is on the subject. How much ignorance a person could expose in less than 15 minutes. I'm sure he is not alone in his theories and it's sad to think people are this naive about myths. I know I wasn't fully educated on raising a child with a disability, but I also wasn't so against it. I wasn't always concerned about having a child who would be a little extra work. I was always willing to accept my child with a disability, which is what I had told my parents when I took that test when I was pregnant. Yes, it was a relief at the time that I had gotten a slim chance, but even now it doesn't change what I would do for my son. It's actually kind of funny to hear some of the things people, like my coworker, have to say. Sometimes it'll hurt my feelings and I'll be rude about people's comments, but I'm starting to just let it go. It's easier to sit back and smile because at the end of the day, my son is happy with what he's got.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Monday, July 1, 2013
First off, I've noticed a lot of people say it "Down's Syndrome," just like I use to too. It actually isn't "Down's" it's just Down Syndrome. I'm not exactly sure where the other way of spelling it started.
Most people think that Down Syndrome is a rare disorder all together, but it isn't. An estimated 1 in every 700 babies are born with it. Around 350,000 people in the US alone have Down Syndrome right now. The only thing with Gio is the kind of Down Syndrome he has is rare, but Down Syndrome in general isn't.
Common thought is that only older women have children with Down Syndrome. Although your chances increase with age, it is more common among younger moms to have a child with Down Syndrome. The average age of mothers who have children with Down Syndrome is 28. I think that's why a lot of people think it's weird that Gio has Down Syndrome. I had him at 19, which caused a lot of skeptical comments.
Down Syndrome is not "curable." I think this is actually a little funny. Down Syndrome is not a disease, it isn't contagious, and you can't take medicine for it to go away. It is a genetic disorder which makes your body act a little different. There are medical conditions that are caused by it, which there are treatements for, but it alone is not a disease.
When you hear "Down Syndrome" you automatically think of a person with severe mental disabilities or mental retardation. You think of a person with a certain facial structure, and honestly you think of a person who talks funny and is dumb. This is not true at all. The assumption is that, because of the disability, people with Down Syndrome can only learn so much, but they can learn as much as you teach them. Some things may take longer, but they can learn it. They can hold jobs and they can be in "regular" classrooms. This is what I think scared our families the most about Gio having Down Syndrome. It sounds rude, but they thought it was a total lie because Gio isn't dumb. Neither are the majority of people with Down Syndrome. A lot of "normal" kids are not very smart either.
One of the questions I have heard is if Gio will ever marry. His dad even commented on how now I'll have Gio with me forever. Every mom wishes their kids don't grow up, but it isn't really what we want. We want to know we raised them well enough to be on their own and make a life for themselves. People with Down Syndrome get married and have children, this will especially apply to Gio since his diagnosis isn't severe, but even if it was he would still be able to make his own life.
I've kept hearing people say, "Well atleast that means he'll always be happy." WRONG. Now, I'm not saying that Gio isn't a happy child, he is as long as he is in his comfort zone. It sounds weird or maybe funny, but that's how it is. I finally got to be at a family party past 10 p.m. and it was all because I brought his Looney Tunes movie with us. It was easier to put it on for him to because we were at his grandma's house too (:. If we would have been at any other house he would have wanted me to stay there and watch it with him. Usually around 9 or 10 p.m. he has to be watching his movie. He throws huge fits when people try to hold him. He doesn't like being played with at certain times. He hates being in crowded places, besides the stores, I think it's because we are moving around, but even then we can't stay for long. He hates when I sit him down to eat. He doesn't like wearing new shoes for the first time. He has an attitude, and is a huge momma's boy. He's very sensitive too. So if Gio, who only has 22% Down Syndrome has a huge range of emotions it's safe to say anyone with Down Syndrome feels everything, not just happiness. It's just a much more simple lifestyle. We could learn from it. They don't care about brands or expensive things. They like what they like and that's all they need to be happy. Gio loves Looney Tunes, for example. A three hour long movie with episodes of all the different Looney Tunes characters makes Gio's day.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
I think it was the end of April when I went to Walgreens to buy a pregnancy test just to have a solid answer. I bought it, drove to 7/11, peed on the stick and waited for five minutes. I texted my boyfriend, at the time, to let him know what was going on. It didn't take five minutes at all. I saw the life changing symbol in the little box within seconds. I took the second test; same result. I cried. I told him both were positive. He asked me what should we do? I knew I wanted to keep it, yes we were only 19, but I couldn't go threw with anything else. My dad found out through Facebook; sadly I did not have the courage to tell him myself. I told my mom and she told me to think very hard about what I was going to decide. My boyfriend took me to my first appointment and I was twelve weeks. I missed my whole first trimester. We both got jobs and he talked about me moving in with him. All guys, I think, have their little scares and that moment where they don't know if they can be dads. My baby dad's lasted a week, but by the end of the week I was moving in with him. My pregnancy was typical for that of a young mom. You get the weird stares, the baby dad questions, did I finish school, etc. In June, I had the option of taking some test to see if my son would be born with a genetic disability. My parents were very against because my mom had gotten a very high chance of my brother having Down syndrome and it caused her to be extremely depressed the rest of her pregnancy. My brother actually was born "normal." I took it because I wanted to be able to prepare myself for anything, of course nothing would change the love I had for my little blessing. I actually had one of the lower scores, which meant it was VERY unlikely, as the nurse kept emphasizing, that my son would have any issues. Ironic isn't it? To me those results now mean nothing. When I have another child I'll probably pass on those tests. God has the final say in what happens. My labor was long, approximately 22 hours. The nurses thought I was funny because I laughed after every contraction. I guess I just loved the fact that my baby boy was almost out. Once my water broke, I started dialating rapidly. At 8 or 9 pm I was at 9cm so they suggested I take the epidural. I didn't want it, but what they hadn't told me up until then was that during my recent contractions my son's heartbeat was close to a stop. I was too tense and he seemed to be stuck. So I took the epidural and I had to lay on my left side. I felt everything on my right side, but I still got to take a nap. Next thing I know, nurses are rushing into my room waking me up at 2am announcing "Its time to push." So my dad and my baby's dad are each on one side; my mom and his mom are each holding one foot. I push for about ten minutes and they flop my bloody child onto my belly at exactly 2:15 am on October 30. They tell me to rub him hard on his back because he's having a hard time catching his breath. He's frantically searching for my boob, I put him on and he feeds like he had been doing it forever. The nurses and doctor were very impressed. His dad gave him his first bath and changed his first diaper. I ate a sandwich and I don't remember a lot after, but I was told I was rushed into another room because I started loosing a lot of blood. I think I passed out because the next time I woke up, it was to the cry of my beautiful 18 in., 6lb baby, named Roberto Giovahnii. My dad was very proud of me, he said I delivered better than any of my relatives including my mom, as though this was what I was meant to do. But at 19, I was still terrified at how disgusting my body was and all that was to come my way. As terrified as I was, I think it was good I didn't know about my son's disability just yet.
"No, no I'm fine. I don't need to cry."
"I know you're strong, but you can let it out. I know it's hard."
"I know it's ok to let it out, but I don't have anything to let out. My son has Down Syndrome it's going to be ok. Hes still my son." But by this I'm already tearing up with a big, ole frog in my throat ready to just burst out in tears. Which I do. Only for about 10 seconds, because I'm not use to crying in front of people so when it happens it's very sudden and very quick; I don't know why. I always thought I would know a little bit about being a mom, since I helped my mom with my sister when I was 16 years old. I tried telling myself it wouldn't be much different when I found out I was pregnant. Little did I know I would be facing a different type of motherhood. A more special type of motherhood.